|I normally don't do this sort of thing and I feel pretty
dubious doing it, but my excitement about thiese NEW
WORKS of ART have stolen my judgement. I have scanned and put up the
archtypical piece - Salt Mills, Saltaire Yorks. (Warning 546K)
David Hockney popularized the rough panorama photos in the early 80's and got the Brooklyn Bridge on the cover of the NYTimes Magazine. I guess I need to study some of his other works.
OK, why is this so cool?
The forms support some WILD colors - but they are not gaudy, but rich, intense and well, to use a hackeyed word, COOL! That French Impressionist Gaugin uses wild colors, but these are really wild. Second, there is a bit of the phot montage going on, but rather each work uses several "vanishing points" to create wonder feeling of space. Third and most importantly, the regions between the montage/vantage points are tied together with what can only be described as escheresque brilliance.
New Paintings by David Hockney
April 24 - August 23, 1998, Robb Gallery
By Barbara ShapiroDavid Hockney's new paintings represent his continuing dialogue with his English roots and reveal his inexhaustible inventiveness. This series of panoramic landscapes was first seen in an exhibition entitled “Local Views by a Local Artist for a Local Lad,” which opened on December 15, 1997, in a small town in northern England. During this past summer, Hockney had traveled back to his home region of Yorkshire to be near his very ill friend, Jonathan Silver. For years Silver had suggested to the artist that he paint his native countryside; when Silver died, at the end of the summer, Hockney arranged to show his new landscapes—all Yorkshire scenes—in Salts Mill, the lively arts center that Silver had created from a decrepit, nineteenth-century textile mill in the town of Saltaire.
The paintings' soaring perspectives and brilliant colors filled the large galleries in the huge space of the mill. Hockney found the setting most effective because he prefers that a viewer stand at a distance to see within his works “a lot of dramatic space in one glance.” Hockney is convinced that “new spaces make new places,” and his vision of Yorkshire has been remade in these formidable paintings. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is the first venue in the United States to exhibit his new works.
Although Yorkshire has often been characterized in terms of lowering gray skies, windswept moors, and mining and mill towns, Hockney responds to the rich colors of its brickwork, curving tiled paths, and patterned fields. Somewhat modestly, and quite honestly, he claims: “I see more color in the landscape than most.”
The paintings in this series are considered Hockney's newest works; they are joined in this exhibition, however, by two studies the artist just completed of the Grand Canyon. Hockney first visited this site in 1982, and at that time he made two large photo collages. Just as Hockney was fascinated by the wide spaces in Yorkshire, so the huge, stagelike space of the Grand Canyon plays a special role among his landscapes.
Barbara Shapiro is the acting curator for the Department of Contemporary Art.